Chapter II-48 OH Arjuna, having yoga as the foundation, perform actions, giving up any attachment. Be the same in success or failure. Equanimity is called yoga.
While wearing these bodies, action is required both for body maintenance and to uphold social roles and responsibilities. What hides the true self is the drive to succeed, anxiety over the outcome and the fear of failure. The practice of yoga, keeping the mind in pure awareness of truth Absolute detaches it from failure and fixes it in the divine moment. Attachment to a desired result is there by abandoned. No matter what happens one remains steady, composed and filled with love and goodness. One sign that one is living as the true self is evenmindedness. This is called yoga.
Chapter II-49. Far lower is action (while attached to fruits) than the Yoga of wisdom. Seek refuge in wisdom. Wretched are they whose motive is the fruit.
The Yoga of Wisdom is the ability to discriminate between the necessity of action as a concomitant of the human body, recognizing that the outcome belongs to and rests with God and the dysfunctionality of action based on desire for anything personal. Sorrow is the final end of any attachment to fruit. Action with a motive chains man to a roller coaster of ups and downs, gains and losses. The Yoga of wisdom lets us find refuge from these lurches of life.
Chapter II-50. With the intellect harmonized, one casts off both good and evil deeds in this life, therefore attach yourself to Yoga. Yoga is skill in action.
The intellect carries the power of discrimination. It receives signals through the mind from the senses and determines how the person responds. From sensory input, the mind creates scenarios for future action and the imagined outcome (Sankalpas). When the intellect is harmonized, it can calm and quiet the mind and deflect the desire for fruits. Without desire for fruits, then there are no good or bad deeds just inevitable actions, governed by the pact acts. Yoga is the skill in action, performed with the awareness of God as the doer, God as the action and God as the only goal.
Chapter II-53. When the intellect that is perplexed by the Vedic text, which you have heard, shall stand immovable and steady in the Self, then you will attain Yoga.
Yoga is both the process and the Goal-Self Realization. Listening to Vedic texts can both point the way and perplex us. The earnest aspirant is given a preceptor to answer the questions that come to all seekers. The preceptor will lead us to the threshold of the unnamable imperishable and then all movements of the mind and castles in the air will cease. The doubts will vanish as we experience the Unknowable. We will stand immovable and steady in the Self. We will attain Yoga.
Chapter III-3. In this world are two paths, as previously said, O sinless one, Jnana Yoga (the Yoga of Wisdom) of the Samkyas and Karma Yoga (the Yoga of Action) of the Yogis.
Jnana Yoga is the practice that leads directly to the Knowledge of the Self through realizing the Vendantic truths, such as Tat Tvam Asi (That Thou Art) and Soham (I am He). It is a difficult path that requires an aspirant to have the four means; viveka (discrimination) vairagya (dispassion), the six virtues (Sama – balanced mind, Dama – control of the senses, Titiksha – endurance, Aparigraha (turning away from the objects of the world, Sraddha – faith and Samadhana – tranquility), and Mumoksha (an intense longing for liberation.) These are all difficult to become established in. Therefore, for most aspirants, the path of Karma Yoga (the Yoga of Action) is better. This practice of seeing all work as an offering to the Divine and not desiring any fruits purifies any seeker and helps in the development of the Four Means.